Our son was only eight-months-old when Child Protective Services placed him with us as a foster-only placement. That means he was supposed to live with us temporarily until his family got their act together.
Today he started preschool as a permanent part of our family. The past two years have brought a lot of transition to our family. If you have read my book, Adopting the Father’s Heart, you know our story of transitioning through changes of infertility, career, foster care, and adoption.
I think both Danielle, my wife, and I thought that when our son became a part of our forever family almost one year ago the transitions would slow down.
Has. Not. Happened.
We never had our own children. We are in our late 40s and early 50s. We knew we had little or no experience, but I don’t think we understood how set in our ways we were.
And if that was not enough change,I began working for myself from home as a writer. I published and released my first book this year.
I mentioned that our son began preschool today! He turns three in October. He changes everyday.
When I sit and ponder how any of these alone impact our lives, It amazes me that Danielle and I are not checking ourselves into a recovery center. I don’t think we were completely naive about adopting a young child at our age.
But everyday is more challenging than we expected.
Anytime anyone enters a season of change slowing life down is a good idea. Who says we need to keep a certain pace? What is more important—getting everything done or maintaining healthy relationships?
Adding a child(ren) to your family probably is one of the biggest transitions your family will ever encounter. I am guessing that you will want to avoid it breaking you.
I saw a tweet last week from a foster mom that I follow that said, “Maybe time to change my bio. Not sure I advocate for anything anymore #jaded #brokensystem #fostercare.”
My thought—foster care and adoption is much harder than anyone can imagine. Here are a few suggestions to consider if you are thinking about foster care/adoption:
- One parent stay at home – The child needs a routine and time to connect. If you put the child into daycare, he probably will not connect with you as his parent. Your family also needs some stability during this transition.
- Put off major changes – Changes like moving, changing jobs, etc.
- Recruit a support network – Not everyone is called to foster or adopt, but everyone is to care for orphans. Let friends and family know how they can support you through babysitting, needed items, prayer, encouragement, etc. You might decide that now is not the time for you to foster or adopt. Find someone who is and become a part of their support team.
I know that many people immediately jump in all the way to care for orphaned and at-risk children. What you need to keep in mind is that if you get in over your head, you can do more harm than good. The last thing a vulnerable child needs is more hurt and confusion.
What is another suggestion for someone thinking about foster care or adoption?